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Box office: ‘Doctor Strange’ stays on top with $43 million

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Alien invasion thriller “Arrival” capitalized on strong reviews to score an impressive debut, while Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” topped the box office for the second consecutive weekend.

The superhero adventure picked up $43 million to bring its domestic total to $153 million. DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls,” another holdover, came in second, earning $35 million to bring its stateside haul to $94 million after two weeks of release.

“Arrival” took third, easily outpacing pre-release tracking with a debut of $24 million. Heading into the weekend, the film was expected to launch to $16 million. “Arrival” was directed by Denis Villeneuve, who has built a steady following with the likes of “Prisoners” and “Sicario.” It focuses on a linguist (Amy Adams) who is recruited to try to communicate with alien visitors. Paramount picked up domestic rights to the film for $20 million. FilmNation, Lava Bear and 21 Laps financed the $47 million production.